Samuel White: We Should Be You: A Study for Physical Interpretation (Simon)

April 11, 2011 - May 13, 2011
CCS Bard

In We Should Be You: A Study for Physical Interpretation (Simon), Los-Angeles based artist Samuel White utilizes the Center for Curatorial Studies Bulletin Board as a platform for an interactive installation that will develop throughout the length of the exhibition. By inviting passersby to call his personal phone number in Los Angeles and engage in a brief but intimate conversation, White will interact with the CCS Bard community whom he never physically encounters in an attempt to surpass the everyday barriers that limit personal relationships.

During the course of the project, White’s cell phone number will be displayed on an instructional sheet inside the bulletin board’s glass case. The instructions will invite passersby to call the artist during specified performance hours and describe their physical manner of dress and appearance in detail, top down. Guided by the participant’s response, phone voice, and mannerism, White will develop a staged photographic series in which he assumes the caller’s guise through the use of costumes, makeup and pose. Throughout the duration of the show, White will mail the photographic portraits to be mounted on the board for display. Assuming the participant’s likeness, White offers the CCS Bard a tangible manifestation of each private interaction, thus forfeiting his identity in a cordial gesture of friendship across geographic lines.

Samuel White’s performance work deals with a confrontation of the self through doubling and a need for meaningful, interpersonal relationships both with the participants and the people he encounters in daily life. This desire is evident in revealing performances in which the artist confronts the different parts of his self, thematically exploring uninhibited sexuality, psychological confrontation, and sincere self-doubt. White’s recent series, Study of Repetition to Achieve the New Now, involves customized, individual performances in which the artist investigates fantasy, sexual identity, and the absurdities of routine through scripted and/or confrontational environments such as wrestling circles and cruising bathrooms within the gallery space.

The artist  presented the project in a Skype conversation on May 9th, 5pm.

Samuel White is a Los Angeles based performance artist who received his degree from UCLA and attended the Independent Arts Research Program at the Nacional Autonoma in Mexico City. White has exhibited performance works and film projects at LACE, Los Angeles (2011); Highways Performance Space, Los Angeles (2010); The Company Gallery, Los Angeles (2010); Conflux City, New York (2009); among others and is a founding member of Eighteen Thirty Collaborations. 

 Curated by CCS Bard Graduate Student Suzy M. Halajian


The Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College is the third venue to host Matthew Higgs’s (Curator and Director of White Columns) bulletin board project. CCS and Higgs collaborated to begin a bulletin board program at Bard in the fall of 2007 with the understanding that the graduate students at CCS would curate it. The bulletin board is an enclosed glass case divided into three panes by aluminum bars.


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